Indians trump Angels' rally with one of their own

Indians trump Angels' rally with one of their own

Indians trump Angels' rally with one of their own
CLEVELAND -- Third baseman Jack Hannahan has made a number of big defensive plays during his time with the Indians. Usually, he's the one who helps bail out a struggling pitcher or offense.

On Tuesday night, though, it was Hannahan who needed the help. His error in the fifth inning led to five Angels runs and cost the Indians their early cushion.

But the offense had Hannahan's back as Cleveland scored three runs in the bottom of the fifth and added two insurance runs late to beat the Angels, 9-5, at Progressive Field. The game was twice delayed by rain, for 44 minutes in the top of the eighth, and then for 57 minutes in the top of the ninth.

"It's always nice to be able to pick up your teammates," said Indians manager Manny Acta. "Jack has saved us so many runs over the last couple of years. For his teammates to pick him up so he doesn't have to have that hanging over his head, it was good, because he has picked up a lot of people here defensively."

With runners on first and second and one out in the fifth, Hannahan fielded a routine grounder off the bat of John Hester. It appeared to be an easy double-play ball that would get starter Zach McAllister out of the inning with the team's 4-0 lead intact, but Hannahan threw high and wide of Jason Kipnis at second and the ball sailed into right field. One run scored on the play, and the other two runners moved to second and third.

"It was a routine ground ball -- easy double play," Hannahan said. "I just had a bad grip on it. Instead of placing my feet, I just threw it, and it just took off on me."

Hannahan's blunder seemed to rattle McAllister, who gave up a three-run blast to the next hitter, Mike Trout, and a go-ahead solo homer to Albert Pujols later in the frame. Trout's shot came on a 3-2 changeup after he had fouled off a number of pitches.

"If he hit it, I didn't think he'd hit it fair," McAllister said, "and he hit it fair and hit it out. He got it."

The Angels had rallied for a 5-4 lead and had sucked the energy out of the ballpark. Hannahan was down on himself as he headed into the dugout, but his teammates were more understanding.

"Nobody really got on him or even said a word to him," Kipnis said, "because we know that's one in a million right there."

Determined to get their teammate off the hook for his rare error, the Indians wasted little time fighting back.

Shin-Soo Choo, who had a leadoff triple in the first inning, led off the bottom of the fifth with a double to center field. After Asdrubal Cabrera flied out, Angels starter Dan Haren intentionally walked Kipnis to get to Jose Lopez. Lopez promptly delivered a double down the left-field line, tying the game at 5.

Michael Brantley then sent a ground ball to first baseman Albert Pujols, who stepped on first to record an out. Kipnis -- who was going on contact -- sprinted home from third, and Pujols' throw to the plate was off line. As catcher Hester recovered the ball, Lopez ran toward the plate and scored to give the Indians a two-run advantage. Hester appeared to toss the ball to reliever Hisanori Takahashi in time to tag Lopez, but Takahashi dropped it. Pujols was charged with an error on the play.

The Indians added single insurance runs in the seventh and eighth. Six different players contributed RBIs for Cleveland, and five had multi-hit games. The Indians had found the offense that was missing when they were shut out in Monday's series opener.

"That's the sign of a great team," Hannahan said. "When you make an error and it leads to five runs in the fifth, it's huge as a team to come back in and throw up a three-spot in the next inning after getting the wind taken out of you like that. We've been having good quality at-bats, and that's what we did there in the fifth."

The rally made a winner out of McAllister, who was solid other than the fifth inning. The right-hander came back out to throw a scoreless sixth, and he allowed just three earned runs -- five overall -- as he improved to 3-1 on the season. McAllister is 2-0 in two starts since being recalled from Triple-A Columbus last Thursday.

"He was very aggressive with his fastball, never got scared out of the strike zone," Acta said. "He handled [the fifth] very well. He could have just crumbled there and not even be able to go back out for another inning, and he did."

The Indians could have crumbled, too. But as they have for much of the season, they refused to quit when things didn't go their way.

"Hanny's made a lot of plays for me in the past, and he's going to continue to make plays," McAllister said. "It happens. It's part of the game. You have to deal with it whether you like it or not. But we were able to score and rebound pretty well."

Justin Albers is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.